By Devan Coggan
May 29, 2019 at 09:30 AM EDT

Millie Bobby Brown is trading Demogorgons for Godzilla. The Stranger Things star is making her feature film debut in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, playing a teenager named Madison with a front-row seat to the apocalypse. After 2014’s Godzilla, the titular lizard has disappeared, only to re-emerge years later — and he’s got some friends in tow. It’s up to Madison and her scientist parents (Vera Farmiga and Kyle Chandler) to stop the rampage.

Godzilla has been terrorizing audiences for 65 years, so why do we still love seeing him smash cities? “Godzilla changes each movie,” Brown, 15, explains. “His scales, his spikes, his face, everything just evolves with technology. So in 2019, we have special effects that make Godzilla look so incredible.”

King of the Monsters (May 31) features plenty of other kaiju too, including the pteranodon Rodan, the three-headed Ghidorah, and the luminous bug Mothra (Brown’s personal favorite). “We definitely get to see her shine,” she teases, “and she’s just so gracious and beautiful.”

Daniel McFadden/Warner Bros.

Working on the scale of a major studio movie was an adjustment for Brown. “On Stranger Things, it’s five takes at most,” she explains. “[For Godzilla], we had the time and the budget to do a lot of takes in a day, [so] we’d do one scene a day, sometimes two.”

Still, some things felt familiar — especially the monsters. At this point, Brown’s pretty good at acting opposite a computer-generated costar. “I mean, that’s what we’re paid to do!” she says with a laugh. “We really have no choice but to look at a tennis ball and pretend that’s a ginormous titan.” Spoken like a true monster expert.

A version of this story appears in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now, or buy your choice of two different Game of Thrones covers — Daenerys or the Starks. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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